2013 ~ a year in review

This year I wanted to take the time to see what I've accomplished at year's end..... sewing skills, photography skills and completed projects.  For some reason it's easy to be lulled into thoughts of not having done much, until one looks back on their documented work.  Most of my work is documented in this blog.  Very few projects are made that are not represented here. 
So let's begin!

This has been the year of learning to sew my own clothes with my personal statement starting out the year 2013.

A comfy outfit  was completed.  Pants and cardi out of oh-so-soft pink knit.  Note how my photo skills began with the garment hanging on a hanger on a hook on a closet door.
McCall's M4979
Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice included a flannel receiving blanket, a couple of personalized quilted baby nametags of my own design and a notecard for a friend's new granddaughter.
Pinwheel Quilt Block was my first ever quilt block.  Completed 6 of these that were mailed off to be included in a charity quilt for a very sick young girl.  
Shared an easy Cherry Cheesecake recipe I made with strawberries.
Completed a new swing cardigan. Notice the photography skills have moved to garment on me photograph of reflection in mirror.  Well, that looks a little better than a garment hanging on a hanger! 
Wrote and photographed a tutorial of how to cast on and knit with 100+ stitches on straight needles.
Began a sewing room makeover.
MARCH 2013
Wrote a ruffled scarf tutorial.  My daughter, Melissa, models it well.  :)
Completed a new outfit - sleeveless top and simple skirt.  Now learning how to take a self-timed shot of myself and how to 'pose for the camera'. Kinda' fuzzy here and pose is a little 'off' - but it's an improvement over a garment hanging on a hanger!
Learned how to transfer an image to fabric and made a little bag.
Write a tutorial explaining How I fringe my Prayer Shawls.
APRIL 2013
Wrote a tutorial  How to make a Burlap Wreath inspired by Ballard Designs Burlap Wreath
Got ready for summer by making an easy, breezy little sleeveless peasant top.  Self-timer again and feeling more comfortable in front of the camera and the angle of the shots.
Lunch with a friend gave me an opportunity to wear my own handmade garment out in public for the first time.  It's a unique feeling wearing a garment you've made yourself.  I like it!  Focus is getting better and I feel my photography skills are improving.
Sewing room chairs slipcovered at last! A first-time experience in custom slipcovering with no pattern.  Thoroughly enjoyed this process.
MAY 2013
A new skirt adding a lining.  Moved outside with the camera and tripod for more natural shots around our property.
JUNE 2013
Burda skirt from BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook.  Another first tracing a pattern, adding darts and modifying the pattern for a custom fit.  Love this pattern.  Slowly but surely the photography is getting better too I think?
Another comfortable knit, lined elastic-waist skirt. This is one of my favorite photographs with the contrast of colors and textures out by our chicken coop/barn.
Stripes was begun. but wouldn't be complete until August.  This top gave me fits!
 JULY 2013
Refashioned a top's sleeve to make it wearable for me.  Who knew just by modifying a sleeve's hem it would change the whole 'look' of a top?!  A quick, fun project.
Made a new skirt from one pattern, then completely re-made it from another pattern. Ah, much better the second time 'round.
Stripes was DONE!
Bow Tie Quilt Block from Sew Many Ways BOM Club instructions. Thought I needed to learn how to piece a quilt block properly.
Linoleum Quilt Block from Sew Many Ways BOM Club instructions
Flying Geese Quilt Block from Sew Many Ways BOM Club instructions
Shoo Fly Quilt Block from Sew Many Ways BOM Club instructions. and after completing 4 quilt blocks, not sure the traditional piecing is for me.  
A Loving Memorial was shared 
Shared the Puff Pillow Pattern and Puff Pillow from my family's files.
Completed a personalized quilted wallhanging for my daughter Melissa.  Incorporated free-motion quilting, applique, crochet and tatting.
Leopard linen Burda skirt from BurdaStyle Sewing Handbook.  Second skirt from this pattern.  Realized I needed to make better notes when I customize for fit, as I confused myself with my previous notes!  Still working on the photography. 
A purse and bag for Jenn,  my oldest daughter.  What a learning curve learning how to insert zippers, pockets and magnetic snaps in a purse.
Joined Make a Garment a Month Challenge and set high goals and standards for myself.
Realizing how pleasant it is to plan your garments. Seems like that would be a no-brainer, but not sure I've ever really set down to 'plan' my wardrobe.  
Another Prayer Shawl story shared.   The Trinity Stitch Prayer Shawl pattern, written January 2012, is the most viewed post(s) to-date.
A lime-green purse for Melissa. Zippers, pockets, magnetic snaps and contrasting thread in the topstitching.
Another new sleeveless draped neck top.
Loved how this shot caught our barn cat (lounging to the left) and curious chickens (to the right) all by chance.
A flashback of an outfit made c. 1991 for my oldest daughter's first Halloween.  I enjoyed digging out this photo that had been squirreled away all these years and hope to unearth more photos of some of the things I made for my girls when they were little.  Back then I didn't always take photos of the outfits I made for them.  Not sure why..... wish I had..... but hopefully I'll be able to find more and it's nice to remember them as 'little'.  They are both now young adults.
Fabric draping fun! with 'ShapeShape:  Sewing Clothing Patterns to Wear Multiple Ways' by Natsuno Hiraiwa.  Thought one of our wood racks would make an interesting 'backdrop' for a photo.  This is when I learned about the continuous self-timer shooting.  Wow, that goes a lot faster than taking one-at-a-time-then-re-set-the-shot...!
Garment planning with pencil and paper a great way to organize your thoughts.
Shared another recipe - Oreo Turkeys
Learned that it's sometimes best to modify best-laid plans.

'Alabama' Quilt  - began end of November, completed beginning of December 2013.  This was for a child in a children's home in Alabama.  Will definitely participate again next year.  Also discovered I LOVE strip quilting.
Shared my handwritten note  included with the Alabama Quilt that was well received by the special young girl who chose my quilt.  This turned out to be a great idea.
A mini 'how to' creat a bokeh lights effect with your camera.
A couple of goodies:  Davy Crockett Bars and Peppermint Meringues. I tried to be more conscious of the natural lighting and how it 'falls' on the subject matter when taking this photograph.  
Completed 2 - in - 1 Christmas Pillows and discovered that what I thought would be a miserable failure, turned out to be our favorite.
And finally, to close out the year,shared my new sewing companion and a new sewing machine cover...
...made of tapestry fabric pieces and faux leather.
If you've stayed with me so far, 'thank you', as I know this is a long post, but personally, it's been good for me to review, evaluate, and be aware of just how much I completed in 2013.  In looking back, it's clear 2013 was a big learning curve for me in all areas of creativity..... garment sewing, piecing quilt blocks, free-motion quilting, photography, purse-making, altering a pattern to fit my body, wardrobe planning, how to match fabrics with the proper pattern, etc.  Now I feel ready to expand on the skills I've learned as 2014 is awaiting fresh and untold.  I am so excited to begin!

Pin It


  1. Gosh, Lisa, it's like you took multiple classes (in multiple things!) all year long! What a lot you did and, by your own admission, what a lot you learned! This post gives me a shove to zero in on one particular kind of creative craft, as you so successfully did with sewing, and document a year's work on it. But how could I discipline myself to stick primarily with ONE theme? I may have to give this some serious thought! Thank you for the inspiration. I really enjoyed this post.

    1. Maybe just document your work during this coming year, no matter what the projects you complete, then have fun at year's end reviewing all you've done that maybe didn't even realize you'd done?! You do so much, and your work is so beautiful, you simply need to be aware, Mama Pea, of all your goodness. I look forward to seeing what you make this new year.


Thank you for taking the time to leave a note.~Lisa